Sunday, March 9, 2014

Blog #4

Amy Lee

       So this is the last week of the challenge! Not only did this experience teach me how to be more conscious of my spendings, but it also taught me how to keep an eye out for sales. I mentioned before that I'm usually really impatient while shopping and I would grab whatever for full price. I hate sifting through all the unorganized sales items. Even since the challenge, I've not only learned to be more patient, but Ive also learned to rationalize my spendings, especially for clothing. I've also learned to budget my spendings. Now I try to seek out alternative prices for everything: from books to clothes, and even necessities. Now it's either sales or no purchases. What I've learned from this challenge is that there are ALWAYS sales and new trends popping up.
       Before this challenge, I was so caught up in "the now", like I HAD to purchase that item, as if that moment was my last chance. My mentality about spending and shopping and definitely changed. Im not as impulsive anymore, which was always a vice of mine while shopping. I ten to buy things without taking my time to try it on or decide and then Ill regret it later. Sometimes I get too lazy to go return it, so I'm left with something I only wear once and most likely forget about it. Now, asides from basics, I avoid buying cheap clothing. This challenge also made me more aware of my surroundings, such as how my family chose to spend their money as I was growing up. I know I grew up in a incredibly different country and time period from my mom and grandparents. My family would count every penny, compare every grocery store. They knew which store in chinatown sold vegetables for five or ten cents cheaper. This may sound ridiculous to some people and they might be called frugal, but they are the ones who truly understand the worth of money. Before immigrating to the United States, my family lived in poverty; a family of seven in a one room brick house. Back then, food was scarce, much less money. Back then, they counted the grains of rice, not pennies. Their economic state was the result of the cultural revolution. So for this blog, I am going to talk about the piece: "Material Mao: Fashioning Histories out of Icons."
       My grandparents' parents were all landowners back in China. When Mao came into power, and the Cultural Revolution came to in in the late 60s, both family lost everything. My grandparents and their children were ostracized and picked on. The cultural revolution in encouraged the oppressed to take revenge for their misfortunes on people who used to be wealthy. So for my family, the iconic image of Mao brings back memories of hardship.

                                            (Mao uniform: green shirt with red collars and hat with a red star)


   This article talks about how widespread and popular the face and uniform of Mao became during and after his rule. For supporters of Mao, he was a hero, someone in power that supported the oppressed, the less fortunate. Not only did Mao support the poor and encourage them to "take back what was theirs" (through violence or anyways they see fit), but he also rejected foreign influence and supported the liberalism of students(as long as they were still followers of Mao). As a result, his image was embraced. His face was also plastered on pins, books, and other forms of merchandise. 
          This is an example of how politics can tie into fashion and setting trends. In the beginning of the course we talked about how with each new empire, one of the first things to go through a reform- was the clothing. From the Manchus to Mao. 
           The article also talked about how Asian and Asian American designers like Han Feng and Andrew Gn usually gain fame through or resort back to their ethnic identity. Han Feng's fame jumpstarted after her modernized versions of Chinese clothing were known. According to the article, Asian designers who highlighted their ethnicity had an easier time getting noticed in the fashion. Even those who claimed they didn't use their ethnicity as a "stepping stone" into the fashion scene, like Andrew Gn, ended up doing so. Andrew Gn is a designer that was born in Paris, and contrary to many Asian designers, he didn't start off doing designs with extravagant flowers and dragons and Asian silks, yet he "went back to his roots" and started incorporating more Asian themes. Not to say this is a bad thing. 

Inside Source: Tu, Thuy Linh N. The Beautiful Generation: Asian Americans and the Cultural Economy of Fashion. Durham: Duke UP, 2011. Print.

Outside Source: "Andrew Gn." The FMD. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Mar. 2014.

No comments: